Houston Domestic Violence Protective Orders
According to the National Domestic Violence Help Line “1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.” Victims of family violence in Texas can obtain a protective order as an immediate remedy to protect her from the perpetrator. Sure, it’s true that a protective order is just a piece of paper, it is not a magical force field that surrounds you with an impenetrable bubble of protection every waking moment, so you must always remain alert and aware of your surroundings and take precautions to ensure your safety. However, a protective order does have teeth, thanks to the criminal consequences attached to the violations of the order.
Protective Order Attorneys in Houston, TX
It is also important to understand a protective order is not the same as a restraining order, which is a non-criminally enforceable temporary restraining order or injunctions filed with a petition for divorce or suit affecting the parent child relationship that provides boilerplate language containing a list of prohibited conduct. Restraining orders are often mutual, meaning they frequently apply to both parties, whereas a protective order is a tool used to protect a victim of family violence from her perpetrator. Though the list of prohibitions in a restraining order often includes threats and harassment, violations of a restraining order are not criminal offenses and enforcement requires filing a motion for enforcement or contempt and returning to court.
A protective order is a non-criminal court order to keep away your spouse or partner who has become physically violent towards you or your family or threatened you with physical harm.
A protective order orders your abuser not to hurt, threaten, or harass you or your children, either directly or through another person; to stay away from you, your family, your home, workplace, and children’s daycare or school; and not to carry a gun, even with a license. Additionally, the Judge can order the abuser to attend anger management classes and/or, a substance abuse treatment program; and be drug tested. The Judge may also order child and medical support, set terms and conditions for visitation with the children, and issue a “kick out order” to remove your abuser from the home.
Yes. There are protective orders for victims of domestic abuse, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking.
You can hire a private attorney to assist you or you contact your local District Attorney’s office; legal aid office, or family violence shelter. You can also complete a do-it-yourself protective order kit available here. Please keep in mind, trying to obtain a protective order without a lawyer should be your option of last resort. You can also find links for further assistance on our resources page.
You must be able to show a history of violence from your abuser, as well as a likelihood the violence will continue. Proof can come from a variety of sources, including police reports, photographs, videos, threatening voicemails, texts and emails, social media posts, and witnesses.
Sexual assault protective orders usually last for life. The duration of other protective orders is determined by the type of abuse, the seriousness of the harm, past violence, likelihood of future violence, if an arrest was made, and if children were present.
The violator will be arrested and could be charged with a crime. If this occurs more than once, it could result in felony charges.